tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 1, 2010 9:00am-11:00am EST
american atheist. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. well findly, the best video. it's -- you just got to see it one more time showing the power of reggae music. seems one thing and one thing only calms down a cranky baby. the late, great bob marley. check this out. >> the power of reggae. >> the power of reggae. ♪ -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com ♪ >> take that. >> got the head bopping there and everything. kicking his feet and crying to -- >> only bob can do that. that wraps it up for us this morning. >> "cnn newsroom" starts right now. >> good morning. 9:00 a.m. on the east coast. 6:00 a.m. out west.
here's the stories that had us talking this morning. right now, millions of people facing a storm system that's caused widespread damage across the south. storm's whipped up several tornadoes, one apparent twister damaged more than 50,000 homes in atlanta's suburb. time run out for 2 million americans unemployed. the senate fails to pass an extension of jobless benefits. americans about to get their last unemployment check. a huge red ribbon adorns the white house this morning, a show of support for world aids day. the overall number of new hiv infections has dropped but there's been a huge increase in the number of kids across asia. and we do begin with a dangerous storm system on the move up and down the east coast and it's powerful. already spawning several suspected twisters. this is left in an atlanta suburb after a storm swept through this area. louisiana didn't escape the destruction either.
wind parish, the path of damage stretches as far as the eye can see and one of our ireporters sent this in from mississippi. these folks are looking at a lot of cleanup, at least four tornadoes have been confirmed statewide. but let's get back to one of the hardest hit neighborhoods northeast of atlanta. jacqui jeras is out there for us. how bad is it? >> reporter: it's pretty bad, kyra. we haven't been in to see the other homes. from what i understand that are basically destroyed but look at how bad this one is. it's certainly not livable. seeing a lot of damage here. this whole thing, this is a whole wall, the whole side of the house just came down. you can see picture that is are still hanging on the ball here. insulation all over the place. and you know, the winds are really gusty this morning. this is just creeking. the winds adding insult to injury already and bringing some down things that weren't already. about 56 homes in this area had been destroyed.
12 -- i'm sorry, have been damaged. 12 of them have been destroyed. no power in the area still so with temperatures down into the 20s, we know that, you know, people aren't staying in the houses at this time because of it. this is a 2 x 4 thrown into the bush. look at the top of this thing. this was just snapped off so the damage very extensive. not sure at this time if it was a tornado or not. the national weather service will be out later this morning to determine if that was that or straight-line winds or possibly even a microburst. there was a watch in effect at the time, kyra. tornado watch. but no warning was issued so residents say they were very surprised. there was also a lot of flooding across the atlanta metro area. 2.11 inches, record rainfall yesterday. flooding on the interstates and this all happened just before the drive home so a lot of issues with all of that congestion. they say that's one of the reasons probably why there were no injuries in this case as this
happened at 3:30 in the afternoon when a lot of residents here were at work. >> all right. jacqui jeras, where are the storms headed next? >> reporter: well, we are dealing with issues with this same system, kyra. there's a threat of tornadoes at this hour from north carolina stretching all the way up to maryland. those watches should expire, though, at the top of the hour and watch for improving conditions later in the day. the northeast when we're looking at say, philadelphia northward, dealing with very strong wind issues there. winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour. and that could cause some damage bringing down trees and some power outages expected, as well. major travel delays can be expected because of this. we're already looking at some delays at laguardia. over two hours and newark and other northeastern cities dealing with delays. call ahead if you have any travel plans there today and then okay the backside of the storm, cold and blustery conditions. the temperatures dropping by about 20 degrees in less than 24
hours and moving over the warmer lake waters creating some lake-effect snow showers. eight to 14 inches expected. in the great lakes the next couple of days. so, a lot of cleanup yet to be had, kyra. in this neighborhood. 56 homes, you know, tornadoes do happen in november here in the south. there's a secondary severe weather season that we do see this type of action from time to time in october and november both. >> got it. jacqui jeras, thanks so much. for the last few days the whistle-blowing website wikileaks made washington squirm, releasing piles of secret and embarrassing diplomatic messages from u.s. embassies around the world but today it's the founder of wikileaks that faces serious questions. the global police agency interpoll has placed julian assange on the most wanted list. atika shubert in london with more on the developing story. atika, he's continuing to swing
at world leaders within the latest news. tell us first about the hillary clinton comments. >> reporter: that's right. it is interesting to note that he's kept a really low profile, no press conferences like previous releases but giving out the rare interview and gave one out to "time" magazine and specifically said that hillary clinton should resign. here's what he said. >> make a difference either way. she should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering u.s. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage activities at the united nations in violation of the international covenants to which the u.s. is signed up. yes, she should resign. >> reporter: you can see from that interview it's audio only conducted over skype from an undisclosed location. he is keeping a low profile now. >> all right.
now, back to interpoll. looking for him on rape charges. now, we heard about these accusations months back and then sort of went away and now it's resurfaced again. >> reporter: yeah. this whole case really botched from the very beginning when swedish prosecutors basically said they wanted him on suspicion of a rape charge and a molestation charge which is really more like harassment. and then days later they dropped the charges and then weeks later brought them back up again so no one's sure what's going on with the swedish prosecutor's office. but just a few weeks ago the swedish prosecutor's office did issue an arrest warrant and said they would put it on the interpoll list and what happened late last night. interpoll issued a red notice for julian asang which is similar to an arrest warrant and says if any of the 188 countries that are participating with interpol know where he might be
located or have information on him, they're requesting that information with a view to possibly arresting and deporting him. that doesn't mean there's s.w.a.t. teams looking for assange any time soon but means they're looking for information on him. in the meantime, julian assange's lawyer here in london basically said this is more of a persecution than a prosecution. saying that the swedish case against him really just doesn't add up. in fact, he sent us a statement saying, it was highly irregular and unusual for the swedish authorities to issue a red notice in the fact that he has agreed to meet in answer to the prosecutor's questions so a lot of confusion as to what's going on with these charges. >> he didn't want to answer your questions. you interviewed julian assange and asked him about these charges. here's what happened. >> intimidate. so, that's revealing the deaths of 104,000 people with attacks against my person.
>> reporter: i'm not. what i'm asking is if you feel it's an attack on wikileaks. >> okay. sorry. >> reporter: julian, in what sense? i have to ask that question, julian. >> obvious. come on. >> clearly, atika, he didn't want to address your question. >> no. he doesn't like questions on this topic, in particular. he has said in the past that he does feel it's an attack on wikileaks and walked out after saying he sees himself as a lightning rod to attract attacks against wikileaks but he does take these kind of questions very personally. he was very personally upset at "the new york times" article that profiled him, for example. he's a mercurial character and have to see whether or not this latest interpol red note and how he will react to that.
>> thanks. president obama's press secretary weighed in on the wikileaks scandal and scoffed at the allegation that hillary clinton should resign. >> i think that statement is ridiculous and absurd. the president has great confidence in and admires the work that secretary clinton has done to further our interests in the world and to keep this country and our region a safer place to live in. i think that -- i'm not entirely sure why we care about the opinion of one guy with one website. our foreign policy and the interest of this country are far stronger than his one web side. >> later today, the house intelligence committee talks about the leaked diplomatic cables. your taxes, still caught in the tug of war between the white house and republicans. president obama saying that the meeting didn't lead to agreement on extending the bush-era tax cuts yesterday. the democrats want it for the
middle class and republicans believe wealthy americans should keep their tax cuts. negotiations are now being brought in to hammer -- negotiators are being brought in to try to hammer out a compromise. the cuts due to expire at the end of the month. well, our men in women in uniform weigh in on don't ask, don't tell. behind the stats on the new study in minutes. hear what our troops are saying about the ban on gays serving openly and answers of the men in charge of that study. [ male announcer ] if you've had a heart attack caused by a completely blocked artery,
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allowing gay troops to serve openly poses only a low risk of disruption, that's according to the pentagon's new don't ask, don't tell survey. the most comprehensive personnel survey that the defense department has conducted. here's the stats we learned. 69% of service members say that they've already been serving with someone who is gay. and 92% of those troops say they were able to work together. now, as a whole, about 70% of active duty and reserve forces saw little or no problem with
ending don't ask, don't tell. and tucked inside the 267-page study there's a dozen pages where we get to hear the voices of our warriors and their candid opinions about the policy. here's what we one said. quote, i love america for its tolerance. i'm willing to be killed in action because i think america values equality and civil liberties. it would be great if the institution i served in mirrored exactly these ideals. joining me now, the co-chairs of the group that wrote the report, general carter hamm and jay johnson. good to see you both. >> good morning, kyra. >> good morning. >> i'll tell you what, general. i want to start with you. that was a pretty powerful statement this one trooper saying they would be killed in action to just support the civil liberties granted the forces. but as we know, you addressed
the least supportive groups in this survey, as well. the army, the marine corps and chaplains are not in support of this. one person even being quoted as saying there's a percentage of marines who have a religious basis for being against no who sexuality and you cannot ask or force people to go against something that they have been taught. you talk about education an training but you can't really change someone's moral code, right? >> well, kyra, first of all, i would note that every serviceman or woman in the armed forces today abides by that same oath and every one of them has chosen to serve america and that ought to make all of us very, very proud. we do see in this matter there are some service members who have very strongly-held religious and moral beliefs. mr. johnson and i have concluded that if the congress repeals the law, we can accommodate that by
addressing behaviors without trying to change attitudes that are deeply seeded. >> okay. so, jay, let me ask you then. what do you do if you're a chaplain? do you change your beliefs or do you quit the military? >> no. absolutely not. you don't -- this -- our recommendations do not require that a chaplain or anyone else in the military change their personal religious beliefs or their moral beliefs. what we found in the course of our study, obviously, among chaplains is that there's a wide divergence of views. there's sharp differences of opinions but we also found that within the regulations and the guidelines that already exist for the chaplain community there is -- there are regulations saying that a chaplain cannot be required to preach something in
particular. he should follow his own teachings in the pulpit but that the chaplains in general have a duty to care for all so in other words if someone comes to a chaplain to seek guidance or counseling and that chaplain for his own religious reasons can't do that, he should refer that service member to another person. >> okay. >> we know that in our military there are sharply divided views of religion already. >> yes. that's interesting to read about the chaplains in particular in this survey. general, i'm curious when we look at the different branches of the military, why are marines more opposed to this than anyone else? >> well, i don't really know the answer to that but we did see in the survey that -- and perhaps unsurprisingly in the marine corps and army combat units, thosed involved principally in ground combat report the least actual experience of having served in units with gay service
members. and we did see a very stark difference between those who had served with and those who have not served with gay service members. >> speaking of the education, the training that both of you have mentioned, we read this response from a trooper about aids that really caught our attention saying, quote, if you are in an infantry company in a fire fight and you have an open homosexual who gets wounded, when's going to want to treat him for the fear of hiv and other stuff? gener general, jeh, i don't know what wants to respond but how do you dole with that? >> first of all, service members are tested regularly. they're tested before they deploy. and if you test hiv positive you don't deploy. period. that's it. >> okay. end of story. we'll continue this discussion. gentlemen, please stay with me. a lot of concerns about ending don't ask, don't tell.
center around logistics. will there be gay bar racks, showers, bathrooms? stay with us. we're talking about that next. g. g. ben? the ups guy? no, you see ben, i see logistics. logistics? think--ben is new markets. ben is global access-- china and beyond. ben is a smarter supply chain. ben is higher margins. happier customers... everybody wins. logistics. exactly. see you guys tomorrow.
a lot of comments in this study about showers, sleeping quarters. one trooper saying, quote, well, tell him if he hits on me, i will kick his ass. end of quote. will there be bathrooms, showers, just for gays, gay bar racks? is that a reality? >> kyra, as we traveled around the force and talked with many thousands of service members, privacy concerns was near the top of the issues that we heard about. having studied this and looked at it, the recommendation is that the department of defense should not establish separate facilities. we think doing so would be divisive and prohibitively expensive. we do think there are already authorities mechanics in place so that if a service member is uncomfortable with a bar rack situation or aboard ship or any other environment with a service member, there are means already for the non-commissioned officer leaders and commanders to deal
with those situations. >> got it. and jeh, if congress does not come to an agreement on this, will don't ask, don't tell be removed by litigation? >> well, that's a very real possibility, kyra. we already had one district court declare the law unconstitutional and october 12th issued an injunction barring enforcement of the law worldwide. that decision has been appealed but it's not over yet. and i anticipate that there's going to be other litigation like that and it's fant to note within the last year the federal courts struck down the defensive marriage act, there's been a ruling on don't ask, don't tell and on california's gay marriage law. and so, we're seeing increasing activity in the area of gay rights and that's something that the congress needs to pay attention to. >> here's what's interesting, too. the concern of the gay members
of the military, jeh, they could be discharged throughout the process waiting for certification. however, for 40 days now there haven't been any discharged so will it stay that way until don't ask, don't tell is officially out? >> well, as you may know, in october, we elevated the authority to separate under don't ask, don't tell to the three service secretaries and in consultation with the undersecretary for personnel and readiness and myself, and i would anticipate that with that elevation of authority the process will receive additional scrutiny. and right now, the law is still in effect. unless and until the congress repeals it. we have an obligation to implement the law. >> so -- but the fact that there haven't been discharged in 40 days, the law is still in effect and no discharges so will you limit discharges until this is worked out?
>> i would not draw any inferences from the fact that we haven't acted on any particular cases in the last couple of weeks. i suspect that sooner or later we will have a few. >> still, no timetable but it was interesting, robert gibbs, the president's adviser had this to say this morning on "american morning" about implementation of this. >> nobody will have a transition period. one day it's don't ask, don't tell and then changed. and there's an implementation on the fly and what secretary gates was eloquent in saying yesterday was we have an opportunity to figure out that transition period and do this in an orderly way and that's why he has called on congress to thing this law. >> general ham, he says it will happen on the fly. yet, there sounds like there has to be a lot of training and education going on. so what does that mean, it will happen on the fly? >> kyra, i don't know. in our report, we have recommended a fazed approach to
implementation should the law be repealed and we think that's the best way to approach it. methodically. conduct the necessary training and education so when the repeal of the law becomes effective, the force is well prepared to manage it. >> final question and it goes to you, general. reports came out yesterday you told members of congress you were against homosexuality. how did you conduct this study objectively? >> well, every one of us senior military officers makes a pledge if asked personal opinions by a member of congress in a duly constituted session we'll provide that personal opinion. and i prefer for my personal opinion to stay just that. personal. what we did ask was for every member of our working group to check their personal views and opinions at the door. and deal with this matter methodically and objectively and i'm confident each member of the working group to include mr.
johnson and myself were able to do just that. >> i can testify to that. i actually did not know his personal opinion until just a few days ago and we have been working on this almost ten days. >> interesting. are you for or against homo sexuality. >> i am the lawyer for the department of defense. we have conducted the assessment and the assessment speaks for itself. >> so, you are -- you don't have a problem with homosexuality in the military? >> the report speaks for itself. that's what we were asked to look at that issue and you have our report. >> okay. so that means you might -- you go with the higher percentage of supporting -- getting rid of don't ask, don't tell? >> well, it's not simply a matter of does the military support it or not support it. you will see in the surveys there's specific questions of impacts to readiness and so forth. >> you're tough a counsel. gentlemen, i appreciate very
much your time today. >> thanks, kyra. >> you bet. the job market, it's your major concern and for the rest of the week, it is the big focus on wall street because each day there's a new report on the labor market. alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. what do the numbers tell us today? >> kyra, get ready for the bulls to take charge today on wall street kicking off december. payroll processing firm says that private sector jobs were added in november, 93,000 of them. it's actually the biggest gain in three years. that means we have now added jobs almost every month this year. compares to job losses that we saw every month last year. but let's keep it in perspective. still not enough job gains to bring down the unemployment rate and expected to stay above 9% into next year but what this report does, kyra, it sets up for a positive jobs report from the government that we're getting on friday. kyra? >> all right. so is this report enough to get the markets going today? >> you know what?
even before the bell rang, we saw dow futures up over 100 points. right now seeing the dow rise up 100 points, up 111 points. this follows movements in asian and european markets, as well. they're rallying over there. that's after a report out of china showing that manufacturing in that country grew. also, the european central bank says it will help struggling countries in the euro zone. they're easing fear that a global recovery could be in trouble and one of the good days on wall street, kyra. back to you. >> okay. good news. thanks. holiday shopping season has begun. millions of americans hitting the stores lighter in the wallet, ditched the credit card and not always by choice. we'll tell you why next. and on this world aids day, they're getting ready to roll out the giant aids quilt right here in atlanta dedicated to the memory of people who died the disease, the quilt had one name back in 1987. today, 91,000.
next hour, we talk to a woman who's making a panel for that quilt. she's had hiv for 21 years. during its first year, the humpback calf and its mother are almost inseparable. she lifts her calf to its first breath of air, then protects it on the long journey to their feeding grounds. one of the most important things you can do is help the next generation. at pacific life, we offer financial solutions to accomplish just that. ask a financial professional about pacific life. the power to help you succeed.
wet and nasty morning folks are deal with. severe weather from florida on up through new york. tornado watches from south carolina to washington. heavy winds and flash flood threats further north, as well. possible twisters damaged homes in georgia. global search is on for the man that founded the wikileaks website, julian assange. he's facing rape and molestation charges in sweden. assange's lawyer says that the warrant is bizarre and reminiscent of stalin police. ♪ you with your burnt green eyes ♪ that's actually sarah shroud, the american hiker who was freed from iran. she was writing a song that she wrote supporting a friend and fiancee being held there. the video is on youtube. shroud was released in september after more than a year in captivity.
well, holiday shopping season is here and for many americans, whipping out the plastic and buying with credit. here's a sign of the times. in the past year, more than 8 million consumers have ditched their credit cards. and not all of them by choice. christian romans is joining us from new york. why the change in the spending habits? >> it's a huge consumer debt purge, kyra. we are digging out of that mountain of debt that we basically were buried under over the past three years. 8 million people ditching their credit cards and you're right. some of it is because people are ditching them by choice. some of it is because the banks ditched them as customers because they can't make money off of them anymore with new credit card rules. cards shut down by banks, consumers are not purchasing as much. people staying down the balances. transunion put together the numbers saying because more conservative investigators, more
conservative consumers with the money and jobs are concerned and playing it more safe. people who are on the lower end of the spectrum, the high risk consumer, those people shown the door by the credit card companies meaning 78 million people right now are walking around in this nation without a credit card. unheard of. we have always added cards every year since this thing has been invented. the balance due right now for the average credit card debt holder, $4.964. kyra, up just a little bit but the good news is down pretty sharply from where it was last year and more good news in this report is that the number of delinquencies is down sharply over the past year, as well. fewer people late with the credit card bills. partly because the people, frankly, defaulted completely on their credit card obligations and the banks closed the accounts but also because people are digging out of that pile of debt. kyra? >> just to be clear, okay to cut up the credit cards but you don't want to cancel it. that can impact your credit
score, right? >> canceling a credit card will impact your score but they have a terrible credit score if they're in trouble and a credit card open is a temptation and having trouble, a lot of personal finance experts myself included say get rid of the card and close the account if it keeps you from wracking up debt you can't pay for. >> got you. christine, good advice. republicans challenging michael steele. we'll tell you who wants the job. and like that, we had a new side to our business. [ male announcer ] when businesses see an opportunity, the hartford is there. protecting their employees and property and helping them prepare for the future. nice boots. nice bag. [ male announcer ] see how the hartford helps businesses at achievewhatsahead.com. [ male announcer ] see how the hartford helps businesses
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we haven't learned about that until today. you see the news story? take a look. >> it's been a november full of bumps and bruises for the white house. president obama is sporting 12 stitches in the lip after being hit by aer rant elbow in a pickup basketball game. the president was seen in a window with an ice pack on his lip. the man that elbowed him has been unavailable for comment. well, state governments are facing huge budget gaps and could mean cuts in services for you. senior political editor mark preston talking about that with us at the cnnpolitics.com desk. hey, mark. >> hey, good morning, kyra. we talk about washington and tightening the belts. also happening in the states. there's a new story on cnnmoney.com that talks about what the budget gap is, $41 billion next year. we expect states to have a budget gap. that is huge and it's big
because it affects our viewers. you know, when you see these budget gaps, what do you see? taxes raised in the states. you see services cut. you also see further spending cuts. so, states are really feeling the brunt of this economic downturn that we continue to be in. remember, it's the states and local government, kyra, that pay for fire and for police and think tier ones that plow the roads and take care of the parks so it's really going to affect the states where we are right now in this economic mess. it has been affecting the states and it's going to affect our viewers. here in washington don't ask, don't tell is a very big topic. you had a great conversation of what will happen with that. david axelrod was on cnn last night and adamant about the fact that the don't ask, don't tell policy is going to end. his words, going to end. he said that the white house will wait for congress to figure out how to get it done and, of course, trying to figure it out in the senate right now about
how to get it repeal done. however, axelrod would not rule out perhaps president obama issuing an executive order if congress does not get that done. in fact, he said they're exploring all options so don't ask, don't tell a very hot topic here in washington. >> makal steele challengers, gathering in d.c. today. >> they are. we're in this time of year talking about policy but this is really real politics and very important, especially talking about 2012 and the future of the republican party so what we have, kyra, is we have a couple of candidates coming in. they're fielding questions from conservative republican national committee members. there's a group called freedom works helping to organize tea party events. they're moderating the forum and folks who want to replace michael steele as chairman. a couple of people we expect the s the former miss missouri republican chairwoman and we
don't expect to see, kyra, michael steele who's the current chairman that's not made up his mind and the new chairman of the republican nasal committee charged with raising money because once the republicans decide who's going to be their presidential nominee, the rnc needs to hand over their operations to that nominee. so kyra, will be a very big meeting today. >> all right. thanks, mark. we'll have your political up dmat an hour. for all the latest political news go to cnnpolitics.com. great pictures from across the country. none better than this in maryland. you can get a charge cheese pizza for about four bucks and a large bruise on the cheesy head for free if you try to rob the place. the shop owner comes out of nowhere and, boom, knocks the gun right out of the man's hand. chases him out. police arrested the would be bandit and another person just a few blocks away.
on to south florida and the family with a serious pest problem. 2 million bees in their home. yep. home is where the hive is apparently. beekeepers are on it saying two rival bee colonies in the house and they're at war and more aggressive than normal. take a look at this nativity scene in iowa. they're made out of butter. what else is there to say than delicious? well, the butter sculptor carved them to help raise money for a family shelter. today's flashback -- music to our ears. ♪ well that will be the day when you say good-bye ♪ ♪ yes that will be the day >> definitely a classic and on this date in 1957, three rock groups, buddy holly and the cricks, sam cooke and the rays made their dau but on "the ed sullivan show." ♪ you send me
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let's start in iran. that's where three american hikers were imprisoned accused of spying. sarah shroud was freed, but while in solitary confinement, she wrote songs. one of them released today to show support for her fiance and their friend who is still locked up. ♪ you with your burnt green e s eyes ♪ >> her fiance and their friend are being unjustly held in iran. she and countless others have been fighting for their release. we're following developments in the next shower of cnn newsroom, a number of them. let's start with elizabeth cohen. >> there is yet another study that shows that women in their
40s should be getting annual mammograms. i'll have details at the top of the hour. >> and one airline is taking happy hour to new heights. i'll tell which you one and for how long it's going to be around. that's coming up in the next hour. and on this world aids day, they're getting ready tole roll out the giant aids quilt right here in atlanta. it's dedicated to the memory of people who died from the did its seize. we've come a long way since the 19 eight, 1980s, so why is hiv being called a forgotten epidemic? [ male announcer ] humana and walmart are teaming up to bring you a low-price medicare prescription drug plan called the humana walmart-. it's a new plan that covers both brand ans and has the lowest-pricednatioy of only $14.80 per month and in-store copays as .
i love that, the who dat song. >> that's perfect. >> you're a drew brees fan, right? >> worked in new orleans. i love drew. he is one cool dude. >> you mentioned the charity, the brees dream foundfoundation. and the goal is advancing care education opportunities for children in need. terrific guy. and remember, five years or so ago, it seemed like the perfect fit. he didn't have a job, he had had surgery and -- >> and then he leads the saints
to a super bowl win. >> so we talked about all that yesterday. we had him on the program. have a listen. >> i believe everything happens for a reason and certainly the opportunity to come to new orleans was really my only opportunity at the time. there were no other teams that were inviting me in and yet new orleans was and i think it was at a time coming off my injury where i needed somebody to believe in me and new orleans had as much confidence in me as i did in myself. it wasn't just about coming in and help to go revive the team. it was about coming in to help rebuild the city and region. >> think about it. this was a city trying to get it wits about itself after katrina and here comes drew essentially on the white horse. he was getting a chance to revitalize his career again. and i asked about when is it
about not just giving out the turkeys at thanksgiving, which is fine, but you're investing your family and time into rebuilding a city. so it is a terrific job. this is a guy now who has another shot at getting his team back to the big show. now, they're 8-3 and as we all know, the atlanta falcons are playing terrific ball. they're both in the nfc. there is a big game in about three weeks, four weeks, atlanta and the saints. that is going to be terrific stuff. >> we'll be watching. >> are you following the derrick jeter store? there's a marketing team that's coming up with this card because the yankees and their captain, jeter, a guy that's helped them to five rings, they're at odds over a new contract, right? >> please don't tell me he wants more money. >> he wants more money. he's coming off of a $100
million contract. but they will all want more. >> why do you need more than that? please. >> here's the thing. for all the lebron james haters in cleveland, he's going back to cleveland for his first game since leaving the team. about understand, take a look at the jeter understand and know that this is still very much a business. the owners aren't saying, hey, we've got enough money. the owners aren't saying that. so the players are trying to get more and more and more. so keep that in mind. >> so are you a bowl sner. >> i'm not much of a bowler. i was for a period of time and then moved on. >> that was the thing to do as a kid. roller skating and bowling. for you roller derby. >> roller derby. so here's what we have, ready? in the 11:00 show, we have got, his name is mark -- let me get it right -- matt. he's a cleveland area bowler. have you ever bowled anywhere
close to a perfect game? have you ever bowled a 200 score? i've never bowled a 200 score. >> i've done pretty well. gotten over 100. that was as a kid. back in my day. >> back in the day. >> the eight pound ball. >> exactly. so matt bowled a perfect series. hear me out. >> that's like 900, right? >> 900. >> oh, my goodness. he's on the program 1r1:00. >> allow do you like that exit music? >> i'm all about that. have a good show. >> see you. and we are on time. 10:00 a.m. on the east coast. here's some of the stories that had us talking. right now millions of people facing a storm system that caused widespread damage across the south and it's heading up the east co-. time has run out for 2 million americans who are unblied.
the senate fails to pass an extenk on jobless benefits. americans about to get their last unemployment check. and today is world aids day in atlanta. crews are rolling out the sobering reminder of loss and hope. this is the aids quilt. it's stored here and it mem yoorl lizs those who died from the disease. a living reminder of the progress being made. let's get back to the dangerous storm system. already spawning several suspected twisters. this is what is left of an atlanta suburb after the storm swept through. louisiana didn't escape the destruction either and the damage stretched as far as the eye could see in louisiana. and one much our i-reporters sent this in. they're looking at a lot of cleanup. homes flattened, windows blow out. at least four tornadoes have been confirmed statewide.
but let's get back to that one hard hit neighborhood that we were showing you here in atlanta. in buford. jacqui jeras is there to tell us about the conditions. >> reporter: it's incredible. in fact, i literally just got back from deeper in this neighborhood where one home is just literally knocked over. there's nothing left other than just the roof. so this damage looks minor compared to that. about 56 homes have received damage. this one you can see the whole wall has come out. this is the couch that you can see over here. here's a lamp. there's a rug all wadded up, so certainly not liveable. a very devastating situation. and based on the things that i've been seeing i think so of the neighborhood and the way that some of these trees are laying down, i think this was likely a tornado. we'll find out that official word from the national weather service later today after they get out here and assess some of the damage. as you can see, all these two by
fours are knocked right over, some have been split in half. and temperatures here this morning are just incredibly cold. it's down into the 20s. winds have been blowing and they've been helping to pull some of this stuff off that still didn't make it all the way down. so sad situation. the neighborhoods also by the way is buzzing with people who are coming back to their homeses at this hour. contractors are trying to come in and start the work. and you can hear the helicopters above me from the local affiliates taking video, as well. >> where are the storms headed next? >> well, we've been seeing some problems from north carolina all the way up to maryland where tornado watches have been in effect throughout much of the morning. we think at the top of the hour those all should expire and that severe weather threat will be diminishing then throughout the rest of the day. but one of the other big issues that we'll be dealing with is that the winds with the storm are very, very strong. there are wind advisories in effect across all of the
northeast and winds may gust as much as 50 miles per hour. and that in and of itself certainly could cause some problems and some power outages and bring down in trees. major delays at the airport. take a look at that. that is just ugly, newark a ground stop, more than 2 1/2 hours at la guardia, jfk will that there, baltimore 45 minutes, philadelphia 50 minute ground delays. washington actudulles looking a delays. temperatures at least 20 degrees colder behind this front. and we will see some calmer weather finally making its way into the northeast by the middle of the week. in the meantime, it's just going to be an ugly mess of trying to clean up and figure out exactly what happened here in this suburb of atlanta. we have a developing story this hour on capitol hill. senate republicans fired a new
round in the deepening stalemate over the bush era tax cuts. the president's bipartisan meeting at the white house failed to forge a compromise yesterday, so now senate republicans say they're going to block every other issue in this lame duck session until the debate is resolved. let's get the latest from dana bash. what are you tell us? >> reporter: all 42 republicans i'm told signed on to this letter and it really is playing hard ball saying -- putting pen to paper and making really clear what senate republicans have been saying for some time, that they're not going to go forward with anything. and i'll read you the quote. this is from this letter. it says we will not agree to invoke closure on the motion to proceed to any item up the senate has acted to funds the government and prevented the tax increase that is awaiting all taxpayers. the majority leader spoke about it on the senate floor just moments ago. >> with this letter they have
simply put this writing political strategy that the republicans have pursued this entire congress. namely obstruct, delay, obstruct, delay action on critical matters and then blame the democrats for not addressing the needs of the american people. very cynical, but very obvious, very transparent. >> reporter: so what does this mean in practical terms? it means that things that have been on the democrats' agenda, repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" measure from the military, the dream act, the immigration measure, even unemployment benefits, those things republicans now say they have enough votes to block democrats from putting any of that on the floor until these tax cuts and until funding the government gets done. now, practically what they're also trying to do is put pressure on negotiations that are actually starting at this hour that were set up in this white house meeting yesterday with white house officials as well as republicans and democrats to try to come
together on some agreement on this issue of the bush tax cuts which are expiring at the end of the year. >> all right, so the bipartisan group set out of yesterday's meeting gathering for the first time on the capitol, what can we expect? >> it will be interesting to see if this move by republicans really pressures them to move more quickly. as i think many people who 1r been following this now, the issue has been that republicans believe that all of these bush era tax cuts for all tax rates should be extended permanently. democrats, however, think that only those for what they call the middle class, $250,000 or less, should be extended permanently. so what they're trying to do is come together on some agreement which they've been talking about for a long time. it's much more urgent now because they expire at the end of the year. i'm told that the most likely scenario still is possibly to extend all of these tax cuts for all tax rates probably temporarily two or three years. not something that democrats really want to do, but, again,
this letter saying that they're going to hold up everything on the senate floor might pressure the democrats to at least go ahead with this in the next few days. >> all right, keep us posted. thanks. for the last few days, wikileakss has made washington squirm. it's been releasing piles of embarrassing diplomatic messages from u.s. embassies around the world and today it's the founder who faces serious questions. global police agency interpol has placed julian assange on it most wanted list. he's suspected of rape, and illegal use of force. assange calls the accusations a smear campaign, but it's still -- he's still swinging at world leaders. he says hillary clinton should resign. it's approach that she encouraged u.s. diplomats to also gather intelligence. the white house is scoffing at this suggestion. >> i think that statement is ridiculous and absurd. the president has great confidence in and admirings the work that secretary clinton has
done to further our interest in the world and to keep this country and our region a safer place to live in. i think that -- i'm not entirely sure why we care about the opinion of one guy with one website. our foreign policy and the interests of this country are far stronger than his one website. >> the house intelligence committee is meeting behind closed doors to talk about the leaked diplomatic cables. >> so get ready for another chapter in the michael jackson story. father joe now going after michael's doctor, his medical clinics and a pharmacy. a.j. hammer has our showbiz update. and on this world aids day, they're getting ready to roll out the giant aids quilt in atlanta. it's dedicated to the memory of people who tied from the disease. the quilt had one name back in 1987. today 91,000. the guilt uses more than 51 mileses worth of fabric and we're talking about it later this hour. [ male announcer ] welcome to that one time of year
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you don't see this very often. susan boyle didn't really play her best game. she seened to have a little frog in her throat while performing on "the view" yesterday. take a look.ed to have a little in her throat while performing on "the view" yesterday. take a look.med to have a littlg in her throat while performing on "the view" yesterday. take a look. ♪ fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices ♪
>> she still sings better than any of us. she later taped a full performance for the west coast broadcast of the show. u >> uma thurman's stalker caught red handed. >> the scary part of celebrity. uma thurman's talk ser back in jail again for continuing to has ras the actress and for violating an order of protection. his name is jack jordan. he was convicted back in 2008, given five years probation back then. and now he allegedly violated a restraining order by continuing to call her office and cell phone. this according to the new york "post." the paper is quoting law enforcement officialses in maryland as saying he was literally googling her name as the cops stormed his mother's maryland home to arrest him last week. he had typed uma thurman into the search box but was in cuffs before he could push enter. he's facing possible extradition
to new york and uma thurman's representatives say they have no comment, but how scary for u mcht a that she still has to worry about this guy and today on "showbiz tonight," we'll be talking about the fact that isn't it outrageous that this guy is still running around out there or has been up until this arrest. and this is something that actually began back in 2005. >> a whole 'nother sddiscussing about the laws. what is this about another suit against conrad murray? >> this is coming from michael jackson's dad who is not giving up blaming his son's doctor for michael jackson's death. this is in the california state court system. the new suit once again claims he wrongfully provided that anesthetic propofol and other drugs to michael before his death. this suit also names the pharmacy. it was thrown out of federal court in early december.
joe jackson's new suit asks for unspecified damages and court costs address names michael's mother, katherine, and three children as nominal plaintiff parties. murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in jackson's death. the coroner ruled it was from an overdose of the propofol. but these lawsuits will be going on for years to come. it's almost -- it's about a year and a half now since michael passed away and i think we'll be talking about this for years and years. >> i think this is just the beginning. a.j., thanks. if you want information on everything breaking in the entertainment world, that's why a.j. is here. every evening, "showbiz tonight" 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on hln. should women start getting annual ma'am gram s mammogramt 4 or 50? we're weighing the advice on when women should start regular breast cancer screenings.
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there. just devoted to making the drugs. one person is in custody. that pizza owner with the itchy spatula finger. a guy tries to rob the pizza job in maryland. shop owner comes out of to where with that spatula and chases him out. he was arrested and another person just a few blocks away. and bethlehem meets buttner ira. jesus, mary and joseph made out of real butter. what do you say to that, delicious? it was carved to raise money for a family shelter. get a mammogram, don't get a mammogram. woman in their 40s have gotten a lot of conflicting advice. just last year a federal panel told 40 somethings that they didn't need the annual test. now yet another study says that that decision was wrong. elizabeth cohen here joining us.
another jab at an unpopular recommendation. there were so many people that came forward and said this is ridiculous. there's just no way to support this. >> right. and now here's science saying, yeah, it really wasn't ridiculo ridiculous. they looked at women who got mammograms in their 40s and then got cancer and they found that because they had had the mammogram, they were able to treat them without taking off their breasts. so they spared the breasts which of course is a better situation. the women who didn't get mammograms in their 40s, when they did get breast cancer, they were much more likely to need a mastectomy. so, again, when they did is a mammogram, less likely to need a mastecto mastectomy. when they did, more likely to need a mastectomy. >> so this federal task force that told us last year don't need the mammogram, now this, you know, new study is coming out, are they changing their tune? >> we pointed the study out to them and they said, you know what, that is interesting and
that is important and next time we do these guidelines, we will take it into consideration. they're not changing their recommendations, but it was interesting they didn't just say, oh, forget it, another study. they said, yeah, this study matters. >> so what do you do if you're in your 40s? obviously in your 50s you get one, but in your fourth, do y 4, do you go or not in. >> the cancer society should not be clear, women in their 40s should get mammograms. the doctors i've talked to, they're listening to the american cancer society. and it's a bunch of other groups, too. so when cancer group after cancer group says start at 40, doctors listen. >> thanks. they're getting ready to roll out that giant aids quilt in atlanta. it's dedicated to the memory of people who died from the disease. that quilt had one name in 1987.
do you know how many it has take? 91,000. coming up, we'll talk to a woman who is making a new panel for that quilt. she's had hiv for 21 years. we fill them with extraordinary craftsmanship. we fill them with amazing technology. and we fill them with inspired design. and now your chevy dealer wants to fill them with as much good will as we can. come see how chevy is giving more. right now, get no monthly payments till spring plus 0% apr financing and fifteen hundred dollars holiday allowance on most chevy models. see how your dealer is giving at facebook.com/chevrolet.
stock market, opening bell rang about an hour ago. the numbers, dow industrials up 190 points. taking the edge off flying hassles. beginning today, american airlines is offering happy hour on some of its flights. let's get the down low from stephanie elam, i don't know, do you throw back a few when you fly, steph? >> actually, i don't, because i
hate being dehydrated. not a good feeling for me. and also it doesn't look too good it if you're throwing them back and you've got an infant on your lap. so, no, i don't do a lot of this, but i have a feeling that there's a lot of people who may see me and my baby getting on the plane apthen worry if there will be a crying baby. american airlines will make that easier for folks who book a flight, domestic flight, anytime between 5:00 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. that's it. you got to be within that hour. in which case you can get the promotion there and it's basically cocktails, beer and wine selling for five bucks. a little bit of a discount there to get people through the month of december. so just for the month of december when everyone's tired of the pushing, the shoving, the extra crowds. american airlines saying they're trying to get people to have fun on board. >> we all know shall peopome pet
get crazy, but travelers really seem to love southwest, right? you've for the a new survey? >> that is true. and southwest airlines, it trades the new york stock exchange under the symbol luv, which is love. that's the right one for southwest because according to the survey, people love this airline. they say it's the best value for the domestic carriers. also the best luggage policy. you can check two banks without being charged. that's the best out there right now. jet blue you can check one. they're also saying it has the best check-in policy and also that it has consumer on-time estimates that are the best ones out there and they say it's the most eco friendly. so overall southwest says we love our job, customer service is at the core of what we do and if you have fun while you're doing it, then your passengers are very happy people.
and if you've been on a southwest plane, people tend to be pretty happy on there. they do a lot of happy things on there. i haven't been on one in a while, but people singing, cheer, slapping. >> they tell jokes. i remember when we first started doing that, okay, they're inexpensive and pretty darn funny. they make it a good experience. >> and they're wearing shorts. >> exactly. as long as the captain of the aircraft isn't making any jokes, then i feel comfortable. >> i don't care what he's doing, just know what is he's doing. >> thanks, steph. it's about 7:30 ought wet w 10:30 in the east. in the east it's about rain and wind. metro dc under a tornado warning within the last hour. possible twisters have already caused destruction in the south and a political storm brewing in d.c. over the push era tax cuts.
senate republicans say that they'll block every other issue in this blame duck session until the debate is resolved. the meeting yesterday didn't yield a compromise either. and the search is on no the man who founded wikileaks. julian assange now on the most wanted list facing rape and molestation charges. his lawyer says it's reminiscent of the secret police. the giant aids memorial quilt is being rolled out. 91,000 names. one of the people making a name for that panel in the quilt, bonita williams. she is a quilter and also has hiv. she was tested and didn't know she was being tested. she had gone for another procedure and when the results came back positive, the medical
community wouldn't touch her. they kicked her out of the hospital. she learned the news on a friday and by that monday, she was an activist. now 21 years later, she's both a face and a powerful voice for hiv/aids awareness and she's joining us taoday. we're also talking with julie, who is basically in charge of the quilt that you'll see in just a second. and doug shipman is the ceo for the center for national human rights. i just was so -- i guess it didn't shock me, but it did shock me at how the medical community just completely discriminated against you when they found out that you were hiv positive. you go in for an operation and they basically said we're not going to touch you. get out. >> yes. and that's exactly what they did. and unfortunately, all of my negative experiences have been with the health care field. >> what else besides that
operation? >> just a couple of years ago, i had a dentist refuse to do dental work. and then in the early ninrlarlyy refused to do my pap smear. >> so what do you do if you get in a situation like that? do you have to keep bumping from doctor to doctor until finally someone embraces you? >> well, thank god, you know, there's activists and other people that advocate for you because even though i'm an activist and i advocate for other, but when it affects you personally, it's kind of hard for you to advocate for yourself. so i get some support. and then you just go doctor to there until you find a doctor that will actually show you some compassion and give you the service that you need. >> let's go out to julie. we have come a long way since what juanita has been through. but still the discrimination is out there. and you've even gone so far to
say that aids has become the no g forgotten epidemic. why? >> you know, i can't answer why it's forgotten, but i can tell you it's one of the most significant madetize estill madetized diseases that this country has ever thrown. so attention ebb and flows. and usually it's people who are the most mar begin ginalized wh further mash begrginalized. >> doug, why is it so important to recognize this day, to bring attention to something like the aids quilt when it comes to our human and civil rights? >> well, the universal declaration of human right which is was written in 1948 includes the right to health care. and so health and human rights are intricately related. in addition, hiv and aids leads to other human rights issues whether it be the number of
orphans in africa or the populations affected hilike squulsquul julie spoke to. these are not single issues, they're interrelated with all kinds of human rights issues. so talking about them in a greater context and recognizing world aids day is something that's very important. >> and juanita, you brought in this scrap book and it's basically your life living with aids. i'll just flip through the pages and have you describe -- you have actually said this has made you a better person. talk to me about that as i flip through the scrap book. >> yes, it has. since i've been positive for the 21 year, i have met some fantastic people. i've travelled to various city, country, continents. and just doing the work gave me great satisfaction. it's healing for me, as well. and i take better care of myself. i take better care of the company that i keep. and i pay attention it my health
now. as not only mine, but my family and friends, as well. and we keep this conversation the forefront so we can talk about it and let everyone know that this is a disease that anyone can catch. >> and i'm just looking through all the photos. all of these, you're smiling, your hugging, you're laughing. you're all the over the world from honduras to africa to you name it. and has your entire life become advocacy? >> yes. and you can live with this virus. everyone thinks of debt and dying and gloom and you're somewhere sheltered off, but you can live a fulfilled life. i'm quick to say my name is juanita williams and i have hiv. i want folks to know what it really looks like. >> and are you actually working
on a panel. this is going to be added to the aids quilt. it's mind blowing when you think one name back in the 80s and now there's 91,000. but tell me about terry jackson and why you are making this panel and what the panel represents. >> terry is a very -- i say is because cease still dear to my heart. his spirit still lives within me. a very close friend of mine that passed. i've had several friends to passes from hiv including my fiance, but there's something about terry, he wasn't really public with his status, but the compassion that he showed to other people trying to educate other folks, as well, and he just had that warm loving spirit. and even though i'm a quilt errands i've been working with the names project for several years, this is my first panel. and i still haven't completed it because i spend my time helping other people complete their panels because it is a healing process and going through this
process gets kind of painful sometimes. so i'm there supporting someone to help them through their process. it helps me heal and it helps get another name out there. >> and, julie, once -- obviously this panel will be added to the quilt very soon. julie, where can folks come and see the quilt today and how long will it be on display? >> well, there are a number of sites throughout the country. if you go to our website at www.aidsquilt.org, here in atlanta we're at 20 different sites, but throughout the nation, we are in universities, schools, in all sorts of other spaces. about 400 displays. and then throughout the year, of course, we're always accessible and there are displays in your area most days of the week, there's quilt on the display.
>> final thought, juanita, what are you hoping that people remember today? >> that this is a disease that can affect anyone. and with a little compassion and empathy and sympathy and education and prevention, hopefully we can eradicate the disease. >> you're a strong woman. >> thank you. i try to be. >> it's beautiful what you're doing. thank you so much. and you can find out how to actually help aids victims and their families. just go to cnn.com/impact. we have all kinds of information there for you. singing about life behind bars. an measure hike e american hike iran release as song to help her friends. because of one word,
american hikers were imprisoned, one of them sarah shroud freed, but while in solitary confinement, she wrote songs. one of them just released today to show support for her fiance and their friend still locked up in iran. ♪ you with your burnt green eyes s♪ ♪ >> she says her fiance and their friend are being unjustly held in iran. she and countless others have been fighting for their release. now an unusual story out of china. what started out as fun and
games for at boy and his mom ended up with some pretty scary moments. the 3-year-old climbed inside a washing machine during a game of hide and seek and got stuck. took firefighters two hours to dismantle the washer and pull the boy out. in south america, heavy rain and mudslides have killed more than 20 in venezuela. hugo chavez has declared a state of emergency in some places. about 32,000 people are displaced. more rain is expected over the next few days. dick cheney getting involved in the contest for gop national committee chairman. he's not running, but he's got a horse in the race. excuse me, what is that? oh, i'm a fidelity customer. okay, but what does it do? well, it gets me the tools and research i need to help me make informed decisions. with fidelity, i can invest in stocks, bonds, all at a great price. wow. yeah, wow. ♪
president obama got elbowed during a basketball game, but what about the guy who hit him? we haven't learned anything about that until today. did you see the news story? >> it's been a november full of bumps and bruces for the white house. president obama sporting 12 stitches after being hit by an elbow in a pickup basketball game. the president was seen in a win did he with an ice pack on his lip. the man who elbowed him has been unavailable for comment.his lip. the man who elbowed him has been unavailable for comment.on his . the man who elbowed him has been unavailable for comment.his lip. the man who elbowed him has been unavailable for comment.lip. the man who elbowed him has been unavailable for comment. americans are pretty much split along party lines about the bush tax cuts. paul steinhauser joining us with the new poll. >> i can never be as funny at that stuff. earlier this hour, you were talking to dana bash about the
negotiations getting under way between top democrats and republican, but they all admitted they're pretty far apart. democrats and republicans across the country are pretty far apart, as well. a brand new poll out and the question of course is should the tax cuts be extended to the welwel wealthiest and nearly 6 in 10 say yeah, but only 4 in 10 independents feel that way and democrats, not many. so definitely no consensus here between democrats and republicans in washington and across the country. talking about across the country, a lot of governor and new governor elects are coming right here today to washington, d.c. the republican governors will be meeting with top republicans in congress and the democrats are having their own meetings here today. we'll keep a close eye on that and get back to you if there's big headlines. >> sounds good. dick cheney weighing in on the battle. >> yeah, you were talking about that last hour. michael steele run again for
committee chairman? there's a big event today. but dick cheney is already weighing in. he's supporting someone who might run against michael steele. dick cheney retired i guess from politics? behind the scenes still very much weighing in. >> thanks paul. for all the latest political news, go to our website 24/7. the top pentagon brass throwing support behind the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." anthony woods is ready to return to the military. the former army captain was honorably discharged after coming out as gay. spoke on "parker spitzer" last night. >> based on your experience, is the military ready to take that next step and basically say sexual orientation simply isn't material to somebody's capacity to perform in the military? >> absolutely.
and i made my decision to be honest about who i was after leading soldiers in battle. i realize that had someone's sexual orientation has nothing to do with their ability to accomplish the mission on the battlefield and if we have a mole city in place that ultimately hurts our military by firing experienced people, people need it stand up against that. i think the military is more than capable and more than professional enough to handle the change that certainly will come. >> were you ever discriminated againsts? >> i don't believe that i was. i don't believe that i was. >> would you reenlist? >> i certainly plan to. i'm looking forward to the day that i can can put on a uniform and serve anywhere you want to send me. >> you can watch "parker spitzer" every night 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> the safety of your food is an important issue. now it turns out the newly passed bill may be headed back to the senate. democrats there propbroke the r by overstepping their tax writing authority. here's the broad features as it
stands right now. it would give the fda the authority to order food recalls when there's a case of suspected contamination. under current law, the agency can only recommend recalls. the final decision is left to the manufacturers themselves. they're on opposite sides of faith and their messages are on the opposite ends of the lincoln tunnels atheist and catholic billboards take on christmas and each other. but first flashback, 1982. ♪ red letter jacket, check. pep thi loafers, check. add nine tracks and you have michael jackson's "thriller." epic released the album 00 thon day this 1982. it remains the best selling album of all-time.
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the sounds of the season are definitely in the air and so are the signs of a heated debate. we want to show you a pair of dueling billboards. one from atheists, the other from catholics. both are reaching out to you. jeanne moos has the detail. >> reporter: on the jersey side, the atheist hole day biiday, yo it's myth.
>> we know the invisible magic man in the sky is a myth. >> they must be reading too much wick speed qua. >> reporter: when the catholic league saw the atheist billboard -- >> is there anybody going to respond, are we just going to accept this thing as a doormat? >> reporter: they put up their own billboard on the manhattan side. you know it's real. this season celebrate jesus. >> we know god is fake and we know christianity stole christmas. we know this. >> so they believe that we came from the big bang they're or is it the king kong theory. if he wants to believe in that fairy tale, he has every right to do so. >> reporter: they're considered prime billboard space. the atheists say they spent over $20,000 to put up their billboard for a month. 15% of americans claim no
religion and atheists think a lot most of of the folks driving by are what they call closet atheists. >> we need those people to come out of the closet. >> reporter: forget aitd thethe coming out of the closet. spe they'll be coming out of the tunnel. >> they believe in nothing, they stand for nothing, they think they came from nothing. ♪ 'tis the season to be jolly. ♪ >> reporter: who are these people? >> i don't know. this guy looks a little like me actually. >> reporter: this season, instead of just ads for watches and electronic, they're selling religion or the lack thereof. >> happy holidays, bill. >> and merry christmas to the american atheist. >> rep